Every year International Women’s Day has a theme surrounding the day, and this year’s theme is #BreakTheBias.
The International Women’s Day Campaign 2022 asks us to:
“Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women's equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.”
So what does this mean to us at Girl Grind UK?
You could say it’s just another day on our grind! As a collective, Girl Grind UK wants to Break The Bias for communities of Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority Heritage. Our aim is to engender a pioneering movement for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic women, girls and non-binary people, grounded in gender and racial equality rights, history and principles.
This means ensuring women of colour are given the same opportunities and chances as their peers. We want to be seen for who we are, our skill set, our drive and determination, rather than for the colour of our skin or our gender.
Shall we take a look at the statistics?
The gender pay gap in the UK stands at 17.3%!
42% of women experience gender discrimination at work!
4% of C-Suite roles in the UK are held by women of colour!
Less than 10% of people on FTSE100 boards are of Black or Asian Ethnic minority heritage, and none of these are women!
11% of jobs in the Creative Industry are made up of people with Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority Heritage!
0% of CEO’s across 11 music trade body boards are Black women!
These statistics alone should show how detrimental change is for those who are at a disadvantage because of who they are, where they are from or what they do.
#BreakTheBias is important, It’s culture saving, & if we don't collectively fix up then we run the risk of continuing to White wash arts and culture on a mass scale.
#BreakTheBias is especially important for women of ethnic minority heritage across all sectors, including the arts. There are a vast number of women who are left feeling discouraged because the numbers don’t give them a reason to feel as though they will be amongst the small percentage of those who have made it to the top in the first place.
So how do we #BreakTheBias?
For starters, we can invest in building infrastructure in the foundations to the cultural and artistic communities across the UK and in our case, throughout the West Midlands region.
The government needs to take action and back initiatives like Valerie's Law for example, a movement led by Sister Space in London that is breaking the bias for Black Women and Domestic violence.
There's power in numbers, so by coming together to destroy gender and ethnicity stereotypes, and take a stand against the bias women and people of colour face on a daily basis we begin to shift the status quo in our favor.
It is unacceptable that this is still so prevalent in the 21st Century.
Our society is always evolving, but it seems that in this aspect we are almost stagnant in growth and evolution.
We will no longer stand for people telling us we aren’t good enough. We are good enough, we always have been. It’s about time everyone else starts seeing it too.